Mäder on the podium at Tour de Romandie
Gino Mäder made good use of the final two stages of the Tour de Romandie to move up from 21st to 2nd in the GC. The Swiss rider of Team Bahrain Victorious finished the Queen’s stage in 7th and the conclusive mountain time trial in 3rd, with Damiano Caruso right behind in 4th place.
With Dylan Teuns victory in the first stage, the Tour de Romandie was off to a great start for Team Bahrain Victorious. The second stage came down to a bunch sprint, and for lack of a sprint specialist the riders in red, orange and black did not contest that one. But at the end of the third stage Damiano Caruso tested his legs in a sprint of a group that had been reduced by a series of climbs and crossed the finish line in 6th place. But as far as the overall standings were concerned the decision had been postponed to the last two stages of the race: Saturday’s Queen’s stage featured more than 4000 meters of climbing and on Sunday a mountain time trial capped off the stage race. But due to a strong headwind there were hardly any attacks in the finale of the Queen’s stage. Gino Mäder finished this stage in 7th place, moving up to 6th place in the overall standings. Damiano Caruso on the other hand lost about 40 seconds due to a very untimely flat tire.
The course of the conclusive mountain time trial could be split into two very different parts: While the initial five kilometers were mostly flat the following ten kilometers had an average gradient of 9 percents all the way up to Villars. Damiano Caruso rode a strong time trial, posting a new fastest time at the finish. Gino Mäder was the last rider of Team Bahrain Victorious to roll off the start ramp, and the young Swiss rider posted a better intermediate time than many had expected. But the best was yet to come as Mäder had paced himself perfectly, moving up from 5th at the intermediate time to 3rd on the finish line. Damiano Caruso even moved up from 10th to 4th place in the steep second part of the course. Thanks to these strong performances against the clock, Gino Mäder moved up from 6th to 2nd in the GC on the final day, and Team Bahrain Victorious also managed to jump from 5th to 2nd.
On Sunday Team Bahrain Victorious also started at the one-day race Eschborn-Frankfurt. Despite a number of climbs along its route, this race is known as a fixture for sprint specialists. For this reason Team Bahrain Victorious fielded a line-up in support of Phil Bauhaus. He could rely on the support of the likes of Yukiya Arashiro, Chun-kai Feng, Filip Maciejuk und Edoardo Zambanini. Fred Wright was tasked to mark any attacks in the hilly sections and to team up with Jasha Sütterlin as the lead-out for Bauhaus. The early attacks were brought back with 40 kilometers to go, and from there the riders in red, orange and black could constantly be seen riding at the sharp end of the peloton. At the second to last passage of the finish line, four riders of the team were keeping their sprinter out of the wind. But six kilometers later the sprint for the win was pretty frantic. Phil Bauhaus found no gap to accelerate but still managed to secure a top5 result by crossing the finish line in 4th place.
75TH TOUR DE ROMANDIE, STAGE 5: AIGLE - VILLARS, 15.84KM (MOUNTAIN ITT)
1. Aleksandr Vlasov, ROC, in 33.40 minutes
2. Simon Geschke, GER, + 0.31
3. Gino Mäder, SUI/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.36
FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov, ROC, in 18:00.59 hours
2. Gino Mäder, SUI/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.50
3. Simon Geschke, GER, + 0.55
1. Team Jumbo-Visma, NED, in 54:09.15 hours
2. TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, BHR, + 2.14
3. Groupama-FDJ, FRA, + 2.20